Breaking and Entering Reviews

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Lisa Schwarzbaum
Entertainment Weekly
September 7, 2011
Full Review | Original Score: D
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Jonathan Rosenbaum
Chicago Reader
March 18, 2008
The complicated interactions involving class and culture that ensue between all these characters remain fascinating even when they seem overly schematic.
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Lou Lumenick
New York Post
August 22, 2007
Though Binoche does very solid work, she can't sell the idea of her and Law as a couple; the chemistry isn't there. Not much else rings true in Minghella's screenplay, which is full of coincidences and speeches about race and class.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Michael Booth
Denver Post
March 2, 2007
Despite its arty construction and clever dialogue, Breaking and Entering leaves us too chilly to care.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Robert Denerstein
Denver Rocky Mountain News
March 2, 2007
Breaking and Entering offers a kinder, gentler version of London's strife than we're accustomed to seeing. Not all parts of the script are equally well-developed, and sometimes it seems as if we're looking at drama under glass.
| Original Score: B-
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Roger Moore
Orlando Sentinel
March 1, 2007
As with all of Minghella's films, there's intelligence and texture and depth and feeling, though here the emotions can seem frostbitten. Perhaps the first thing that wasn't working and needed to be fully broken to heal was the script.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
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St. Louis Post-Dispatch
February 24, 2007
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Peter Howell
Toronto Star
February 16, 2007
Maybe Jude Law should take some time off from acting. Maybe Juliette Binoche should get a new dialect coach. Maybe Anthony Minghella should try writing a movie ending that doesn't make everybody groan.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Rene Rodriguez
Miami Herald
February 16, 2007
A movie that is so tightly wrapped in highbrow airs and lofty significance, it forgets how to breathe. Only Vera Farmiga brings any trace of personality or spontaneity to the picture.
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Amy Biancolli
Houston Chronicle
February 16, 2007
For all its Bergmanesque agonizing, the film never digs too far under the surface. It fails to break and enter.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Tom Long
Detroit News
February 16, 2007
A sharp study in contrasts built on sturdy performances, Breaking and Entering manages to tackle immigration, youthful rebellion, family dynamics and, yes, love. The title doesn't merely refer to buildings, it also refers to hearts.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
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Terry Lawson
Detroit Free Press
February 16, 2007
Breaking and Entering, not unlike a pair of other English dramas of recent vintage (Notes on a Scandal and The Queen), provides further proof that so-called serious filmmaking can be equally entertaining and provocative.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Entertainment Weekly
February 16, 2007
Full Review | Original Score: D
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Bill Muller
Arizona Republic
February 15, 2007
With its overwritten, every-hair-in-place script, Breaking and Entering robs itself of reality.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/5
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Joe Morgenstern
Wall Street Journal
February 9, 2007
Starts busily, and soon becomes a bafflement -- such an interesting cast, such technical excellence, so many intricate details and parallel plot threads, yet so little clarity or urgency.
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Moira MacDonald
Seattle Times
February 9, 2007
Anthony Minghella's Breaking and Entering shimmers with good intentions and competency: Its blue/gray palette is elegant and unobtrusive; its cast is uniformly fine with occasional startling moments of brilliance.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Mick LaSalle
San Francisco Chronicle
February 9, 2007
Everything flows from the film's fundamental lethargy -- a hero without a spine, a romance without joy and a crime with neither moral rebuke nor consequences. No surprise that the story, like the protagonist, floats along in a noodly sort of way.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Wesley Morris
Boston Globe
February 9, 2007
Breaking and Entering is about a kind of white privileged guilt and the apologies that come with it. Minghella gingerly backs away from provocation, from realism.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Roger Ebert
RogerEbert.com
February 9, 2007
What are the meaningful connections between these people's lives? Are they real and significant, or are they just plot contrivances, the manipulation of pawns in an onscreen board game?
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Claudia Puig
USA Today
February 8, 2007
The first third of the movie is intelligent and sets up an intriguing premise. Then the plot takes unconvincing and unlikely turns that result in an ending that feels false and forced.
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Ann Hornaday
Washington Post
February 8, 2007
For all its contrivances (including Vera Farmiga's improbably erudite whore), Breaking and Entering has its finger on the pulse of contemporary London life and possesses its share of fleeting delights.
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Michael Wilmington
Chicago Tribune
February 8, 2007
A smart, well-mannered film that could use a little more juice and fire.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Eleanor Ringel Gillespie
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
February 8, 2007
Breaking and Entering just hangs there, positing its theme of how the personal becomes political and the political becomes personal over and over, without ever grabbing either your heart or your mind.
Full Review | Original Score: C
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Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
February 8, 2007
Seeing the film is like attending a refined cocktail party where social problems are clucked over and personal tensions are politely disregarded. When it's over, you wish you'd gone to a bar where people know how to have an argument and throw a punch.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
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Mark Holcomb
Time Out
February 3, 2007
Minghella has drawn intimate love stories from supernatural fantasies and widescreen epics, but not even he can turn sappy corn into social commentary.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/6
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David Denby
New Yorker
January 27, 2007
A shrewd and decent movie.
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Elizabeth Weitzman
New York Daily News
January 27, 2007
Go see Anthony Minghella's jagged new drama, Breaking and Entering, and you'll feel as if you're getting two movies for the price of a single ticket. The bad news? Only one of these stories is actually worth your money.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Stephanie Zacharek
Salon.com
January 27, 2007
Breaking and Entering is so bloodless that even Minghella's best ideas come off as wan and pale. We're aware of the angst and confusion these characters suffer, and yet the movie shows us nothing so messy as real pain.
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A.O. Scott
New York Times
January 26, 2007
Breaking and Entering climaxes in a welter of apologies. Everyone in London, it seems, has cause for remorse and for my part I regret that I lost count of the number of times the words 'I'm sorry' were uttered on screen.
| Original Score: 2/5
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Gene Seymour
Newsday
January 25, 2007
If Breaking and Entering were a piece of music, it would be the kind to which you'd have to either listen closely the first time around or listen again to make sure you didn't miss anything.
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Rex Reed
New York Observer
January 25, 2007
... a dull and dreary snooze.
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Andrew Sarris
New York Observer
January 25, 2007
All in all, Breaking and Entering isn't a bad start for 2007.
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Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
January 25, 2007
... despite Minghella's admirable attempt to tackle major themes on an intimate scale, the film goes down like weak tea.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
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Nathan Lee
Village Voice
January 24, 2007
... nothing but hot air.
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David Edelstein
New York Magazine/Vulture
January 16, 2007
Many talented directors have a Breaking and Entering in them, and some -- like Anthony Minghella -- have the misfortune of being successful enough to have it green-lit.
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Carina Chocano
Los Angeles Times
December 30, 2006
Minghella raises some interesting questions on the subject of exile - whether from one's country, family, ethnic identity or self. But his conclusions feel pious and pat.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
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Richard Roeper
Ebert & Roeper
December 18, 2006
It's a very smart film.
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Scott Tobias
AV Club
December 17, 2006
[Breaking and Entering is a] sophisticated and wonderfully particular character study...
Full Review | Original Score: B
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Ella Taylor
L.A. Weekly
December 14, 2006
Breaking and Entering sighs and whimpers and waffles until, far from losing myself in this timid movie, I found myself wishing it would speak up.
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David Germain
Associated Press
December 11, 2006
In the end, the film wraps up awfully neatly considering how sloppy and unraveled the characters' lives had been at the height of their conflicts.
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TIME Magazine
December 11, 2006
...This is a movie that plods while we keep hoping it will soar.
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James Berardinelli
ReelViews
December 5, 2006
Perhaps the kindest way to describe Anthony Minghella's Breaking and Entering is to say it's evident as being broken fairly early during the proceedings.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Wally Hammond
Time Out
October 30, 2006
Diffuse, disappointing, and strangely out of touch.
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Rick Groen
Globe and Mail
September 23, 2006
An odd mix of the sophisticated and the sentimental.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Todd McCarthy
Variety
September 15, 2006
Anthony Minghella's film is conspicuously thoughtful and civilized as it provides a close-up snapshot of particular aspects of life in London at this moment.
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Kirk Honeycutt
Hollywood Reporter
September 15, 2006
What gives the movie its intrigue and vitality though is the neighborhood where the story takes place.